World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81.
The former Stoke and Leicester City goalkeeper was part of the famous England side who lifted the World Cup in 1966.
A family statement, published by Stoke City, said: ‘It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight.
‘We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him.’
From the family of Gordon Banks
It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight.
We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him. pic.twitter.com/mg5GIgSoBb
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) February 12, 2019
He endured battles with kidney cancer for many years and in recent months had been undergoing chemotherapy.
Tributes soon flooded in when the news broke on Tuesday morning with former England striker Gary Lineker hailing Banks as his ‘hero’.
Lineker wrote: ‘Oh no. Gordon Banks, an absolute hero of mine, and countless others, has died. England’s World Cup winner was one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, and such a lovely, lovely man.’
Banks made 73 appearances for England between 1963-72, playing every game in 1966 as England claimed their only World Cup triumph to date with victory over West Germany at the old Wembley Stadium.
His save to thwart Brazilian icon Pele at the 1970 tournament in Mexico is still regarded as one of the very best in football history.
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) February 12, 2019
England and Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling also paid homage to the former goalkeeper: ‘Of course there was THAT save, but its so much more we are mourning today.
‘RIP Gordon Banks. England legend, your legacy will live on. All my thoughts with the family.’
Banks revealed in 2015 he was fighting kidney cancer for a second time, having lost a kidney to the disease 10 years earlier.
He is survived by his wife Ursula, whom he met during his national service in Germany in 1955, and their three children, Robert, Wendy and Julia.
Once a champion, always a champion
He was one of the game’s greatest goalkeepers, a provider of stunning World Cup memories & a gentleman.
Our thoughts are with his family & friends. pic.twitter.com/tsD4c71Ixt
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) February 12, 2019
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